Al-Qushayri's Epistle on Sufism: Al-Risala Al-qushayriyya Fi 'ilm Al-tasawwuf

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Garnet & Ithaca Press, 2007 - Religion - 460 pages
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"The author of the Epistle on Sufism, Abu 'l-Qasim al-Qushayri (376/986-465/1074), was a famous Sunni scholar and mystic (Sufi) from Khurasan in Iran. His Epistle is probably the most popular Sufi manual ever." "Written in 437/1045, it has served as a primary textbook for many generations of Sufi novices down to the present. Al-Qushayri has given us an illuminating insight into the everyday lives of Sufi devotees of the eighth to eleventh centuries C.E. and the moral and ethical dilemmas they were facingin trying to strike a delicate balance between their ascetic and mystical convictions and the exigencies of life in a society governed by rank, wealth, and military power." "In al-Qushayri's narrative, the Sufi 'friends of God' (awaliya') are depicted asthe true, if uncrowned, 'kings' of this world, not those worldly rulers who appear to be lording it over the common herd of believers. Yet, even the most advanced Sufi masters should not take salvation for granted. Miracle-working, no matter how spectacular, cannot guarantee the Sufi a 'favorite outcome' in the afterlife, for it may be but a ruse on the part of God who wants to test the moral integrity of his servant. In the Epistle these and many other Sufi motifs are illustrated by the anecdotes and parables that show al-Qushayri's fellow Sufis in a wide variety of contexts: suffering from hunger and thirst in the desert, while performing pilgrimage to Mecca, participating in 'spiritual concerts', reciting the Qur'an, waging war against the 'infidel' enemy and their own desires, earning their livelihood, meditating in a retreat, praying, working miracles, interacting with the 'people of the market-place', their family members and peers, dreaming, and dying."--BOOK JACKET.
 

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Contents

Authors Introduction
1
Section on divine oneness
14
Abu cAbdallah alHarith alMuhasibi
27
Abu Turab cAskar b Husayn alNakhshabi
40
Abu Muhammad Ruwaym b Ahmad
48
Abu Bakr Dulaf b Jahdar alShibli
61
Abu cAmr Ismacil b Nujayd
69
An explanation of the expressions used by this Sufi
75
Awareness of God muraqaba
202
Servanthood lubudiyya
210
Uprightness istiqama
217
Shame haya
226
Remembrance dhikr
232
Spiritual insight firasa
242
Moral character khuluq
252
Jealousy ghayra
264

Awe hayba and intimacy uns
81
Unification jam0 and separation farq
87
Sobriety sahw and drunkenness sukr
93
Glimmers lawaih dawnings tarvaW and flashes lawamil
99
The Divine Law sharea and the True Reality haqiqa
105
The mystical stations maqamat
111
Striving mujahada
118
Fear of God taqwa
125
Renunciation zuhd
134
Fear khawf
142
Hope raja5
148
Sadness huzn
155
Humility khushul and modesty tawaduS
161
Opposing the soul mukhalafat alnafs and remembering its faults dhikr Hiyubiha
167
Contentment qanaca
175
Gratitude shukr
188
Patience sabr
196
Supplicatory prayer daW
273
Poverty faqr
280
Sufism tasawwuj
288
The rules of travel safar
297
The Oneness of God tawhid
306
How some Sufis of old behaved at the time of their departure
312
Divine gnosis almalrifa billah
319
Love mahabba
325
Passionate longing shawq
335
Listening to music samal
342
Miracles of Gods friends karamat alawliya?
357
The vision of the Sufis nPyat alqawm
392
Spiritual advice for Sufi novices wasaya li lmuridin
403
Glossary
417
Bibliography
427
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About the author (2007)

The translator Alexander Knysh is Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research interests include Islamic mysticism and Islamic theological thought in historical perspective as well as Islam and Islamic movements in local contexts (especially Yemen and the Northern Caucasus). He has numerous publications on these subjects, including four books. The reviewer Dr Muhammad Eissa is a graduate of Al-Azhar University of Egypt and University of California in Los Angeles. He has had a long teaching career at the American University in Cairo, UCLA, Northwestern University and University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He has written, translated and edited numerous works in the areas of Arabic and Islamic studies. Currently he is the President of a private educational and consulting institution in the Chicago area, Illinois.

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